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a person of the name of Williams, then a sertler in New England, had brought out against the Quakers. It is probable from this circumstance that they were assisted in it by William Penn.
It was here too, and at this time, that it became a growing concern with William Penn to visit Holland and Germany. His object was to communicates with many seeking persons” there, and to bring these to the knowledge of what he conceived to be the Truth. He had already, as has been before mentioned, visited the Continent on the same errand, where many had been converted by his labours ; but since that time such an accession had been made to these by different Quakers, who had travelled there, that meetings both for worship and discipline had in some instances been established among them. He had besides many correspondents, and invitations from various persons in these parts. It happened also at this time, while the religious visit in question occupied his mind, that he received a letter from Elizabeth, Princess Palatine of the Rhine, before mentioned, which, as it showed her kind disposition towards him, as well as VOL. I. '
the modest and pious frame of her mind, could not but have the effect of inclining him still more towards the same course. This letter was in answer to one of his own, and ran thus :
“ This, my Friend, will inform you that both your letters were acceptable, together with your wishes for my obtaining those vir. tues which may make me a worthy follower of our great King and Saviour Jesus Christ. What I have done for his true disciples is not so much as a cup of cold water. It affords them no refreshment. Neither did I expect any fruit of my letter to the Duchess of L- , as I expressed at the same time to B. Furley. But as R. Barclay desired I would write it, I could not refuse him, nor omit to do any thing that was judged conducing to his liberty, though it should ex. pose me to the derision of the world. But this a mere moral man may reach at: the true inward graces are yet wanting in your affectionate Friend, “ ELIZABETH."
Called upon then by the religious work. ings of his own mind, and additionally by such favourable circumstances, William Penn prepared for his journey. At length he took
leave of his wife and family; and passing through London, and visiting his mother in his way through Essex, he reached Harwich, from whence, after attending a meeting for worship, in which he says " he felt a blessed earnest of the divine love and presence which should accompany him on his voyage," he went on board the packet, and set sail for the Dutch coast.
George Fox, Robert Barclay, and several others of the society accompanied him, all of whom went on the same errand, but each according to what he conceived to be his appointed course. It appears that they held religious meetings while on board, and that they were particularly well accommodated, the captain of the packet having served under Vice-Admiral Sir William Penn.
After landing at the Brill, they proceeded to Rotterdam. During their stay there they had two meetings, at which, says William Penn in his usual energetic manner, " the Gospel was preached, the dead were raised, and the living comforted.”
They went next to Leyden, and from thence to Harlem, where they preached, and afterwards to Amsterdam. Here they orga
nized a system of discipline for such as had been converted by former preachers, and held religious meetings, at which a mighty concourse of people attended, consisting of Baptists, Presbyterians, Seekers, Socinians, and others. Letters arriving here from Dantzic, complaining of the sufferings which the Quakers underwent in that city, it was allotted to William Penn to write to the King of Poland in their behalf. This task he undertook. He explained to the King in this letter, first, what the religious principles of the Quakers really were. He then stated in a respectful manner the reasons why they as a people absented themselves from the common ministry or worship, and concluded with an eloquent appeal to his reason to protect them in their religious rights. “Give us poor Christians,” says he, “leave to expostulate with thee. When did the true church offer violence for religion ? Were not her weapons prayers, tears, and patience 2 Did not Jesus conquer by those weapons, and vanquish cruelty by suffering 2 Can clubs, and staves, and swords, and prisons, and banishments reach the soul, convert thre heart, or convince the understanding of
man? When did violence ever make a true convert, or bodily punishment a sincere Christian? This maketh void the end of Christ's coming, which was to save men's lives, and not to destroy them; to persuade them, and not to force them. Yea, it robbeth God's Spirit of its office, which is to convince the world. This is the sword by which the ancient Christians overcame. It was the apostles' testimony, that their weapons were not carnal, but spiritual: but the practice of their pretended successors proveth that their weapons are not spiritual, but carnal. Suppose we are tares, as the true wheat hath always been called, yet pluck us not up for Christ's sake, who saith, Let the tares and the wheat grow up until the harvest, that is, until the end of the world. Let God have his due as well as Cæsar. The judgement of conscience belongeth unto him, and mistakes about religion are known to him alone. And here give me leave to remind thee of a noble saying of one of thy ancestors, Stephen, King of Poland : 'I am King of men, not of consciences ; King of bodies, and not of souls.'” Leaving George Fox at Amsterdam, they